TRENTON – Senator Barbara Buono, the Chair of the Senate Committee on Wagering, Tourisim and Historic Preservation, today said the sports wagering bill advancing in the Assembly is a bad bet for New Jersey residents.
“Plain and simple – sports betting in New Jersey is illegal under federal law,” said Senator Buono, D-Middlesex. “It would be wrong to waste a dime of taxpayers’ money on challenging what appears to be a rather straightforward federal ban (on sports betting in New Jersey).”
Senator Buono, whose committee reviews all wagering bills and any measures affecting the casino industry in Atlantic City, said it would be a “misplaced priority” to attempt to legalize an illegal activity as a presumed benefit to the resort city.
“We should be focusing on the diversity of development and investment opportunities for the casino industry,” said Senator Buono, D-Middlesex. “If the casino industry really wants to pursue a legal challenge to the federal law, it should use its own lawyers.”
Under a 1992 federal law sponsored by former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley of New Jersey, sports betting is permitted only in Nevada and three other states which had legalized it at the time of the federal law’s enactment. New Jersey failed to act by a 1993 deadline to legalize it within its borders, Senator Buono noted.